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Travel has always been an important part of our lives. Whether it’s to revisit a favourite place or discover a new one, take a road trip to the next town over or fly to the other side of the world, the possibilities are endless. So don’t let a health condition like asthma, diabetes, or even allergies stop you from making new memories. Smoother, safer, and more enjoyable adventures can go from dream to reality with MedicAlert’s top 5 travel tips.
They say travel is good for the soul, and we couldn’t agree more. But regardless of how excited we all are to get back on the road (or in the sky), safety should still be a priority. Thorough planning will make it possible for you to stop worrying about your health and live in the moment. And like our long-time subscriber and traveler Sonya, always bring MedicAlert’s protection along for the trip. No matter where you go, MedicAlert is there with you.
- Schedule a checkup with your health professional and discuss your travel plans.
Speak with your doctor or medical specialist before confirming any of your travel plans. Depending on the activities you’re looking to do, you may have to adjust your itinerary to consider your health condition. For example, if you have diabetes and are traveling to a different time zone, you will need to adjust your insulin schedule. If you have asthma, you’ll need to be mindful of activities that put you at a high altitude (like hiking) or expose you to more air pollution.
- Get additional supplies and medicine, in travel size if available.
While you’re at the doctor’s, you may as well fill up on your prescription medication. Even if you foresee having enough to cover your trip, it’s always a good idea to keep an extra supply. Remember to pack them in your carry-on, never your checked luggage! Did you know that you can pack liquids like insulin and juice over the 100 ml limit if you have diabetes? Just make sure to declare them to airport security. According to Diabetes Canada, you can also carry syringes and needles as long as the injectable medication is also included.
- Do the research on your destination, especially the health facilities and processes.
Where are the nearest hospitals to your destination? What is the phone number to contact first responders? Do you and your travel companions know enough of the local language to ask for help in case of an emergency? While it’s common to do extensive research on the accommodations and activities when planning a vacation, researching health services isn’t always top of mind. Add this as a category to your travel plan checklist. If you have allergies, it’s also helpful to find out what food options and sources are available ahead of time. Speaking of food, are you up to date on your food safety knowledge and practices?
- Book your travel plans with built-in room for rest.
Just like jet lag can affect your energy level, various elements of travel can affect your health in unexpected ways. Make sure to watch out for too low or too high temperatures, wear safety gear specific to each activity, and schedule plenty of breaks along the way, especially with more physically demanding activities. If your travel plans include a child with ASD, establishing predictability and a certain level of comfort will go a long way.
- Update your MedicAlert record with your most current information and any changes to your emergency contact.
Have any of your medical conditions changed recently? What about your medications? Even if these details are up to date, you may want to change your emergency contact while you’re traveling. This could be to someone traveling with you or perhaps the person you’ll be visiting on your travels. No matter what you decide, ensure that your MedicAlert record is current and that you have a spare MedicAlert ID packed for your adventure.
*All content and information on the MedicAlert blog is for informational and educational purposes only. No material on this site constitutes professional medical advice and MedicAlert is not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site. Although we strive to provide accurate general information, the information presented here is not a substitute for professional advice. Always consult a medical professional or healthcare provider for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.